Hoki, Japan’s first badminton world champion in men’s doubles at Kobayashi


(AP Photo / Dita Alangkara)

TOKYO (Kyodo) – Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi on Sunday became the first Japanese to win the men’s doubles championship in the World Tour badminton final, beating the world’s top-ranked pair in their home country, the Indonesia.

Ranked sixth in the world, Hoki and Kobayashi dominated 21-16, 13-21, 21-17 over Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in Bali.

Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino, mixed doubles bronze medalists at the Tokyo Olympics, finished second, losing their final to Thais Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-19, 21-11.

Tour final debutants Chiharu Shida and Nami Matsuyama lost the women’s doubles final 21-14, 21-14 to South Koreans Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong as they also settled for second square.

The event involved the top eight players and pairs from the World Badminton Federation tour. Chinese players have not made the tour this season.

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